Local Author Launches Culinary Romance Book Dec. 3

SELMA – Garner resident and children’s book author, Dorothy La Motta, is launching her debut novella, The Italian Charmer, at the Old North State Food Hall in Selma on December 3, part of the Creative Minds Holiday Extravaganza, from 11 am to 4 pm, featuring local authors, potters, painters, soap makers, jewelry artisans and fiber artists with their one-of-a-kind gifts for the holiday season.

This sweetly spiced love story with two unforgettable characters is full of romantic escapades around the world, a touch of wisdom, a fascinating charm bracelet that leads the couple to an unexpected twist, and their ‘’happily ever after.” 

La Motta’s culinary tale of love is bookended by a photo of her La Regina Della Cucina (“Queen of the Kitchen”) embroidered apron and five of her beloved family recipes, from classic French chateaubriand, and Italian veal saltimbocca, to prosciutto bread, cannoli, and biscotti.

Members of the Triangle East Writers, for whom La Motta serves as treasurer, can vouch for the delicious dishes with which she has feted them at board meetings and holiday parties. The group will gather at the Artmosphere Community Arts Center in Clayton on Dec. 9 for a year-end celebration.

La Motta composed several drafts of the manuscript throughout 2023, sharing it chapter by chapter with a small group that meets monthly for critique at Coffee on Raiford in Selma. Her critique partners include writers from Smithfield (Gary Ridout and Evelyn Parham), Pine Level (Cindy Brookshire, Julie Johnson, and Evelyn Wool), Benson (Barbara Crowley), and Clayton (Cindy Draughon). The book cover is an original painting by Four Oaks artist and Johnston County Arts Council president Judy Boyette.

“I adore Judy’s artwork of what I envisioned, two love birds in a charm, surrounded by flowers,” said La Motta. “I hope the book finds a home as a holiday, wedding, or Valentine’s Day gift, or as a relaxing treat for those who just love to cuddle up with a good book and dream, reminisce, and cherish the tender world of romance,” she added. She has sprinkled the book with her words of wisdom from a long and fulfilling marriage, and she includes book club discussion questions at the back.

Meet Dorothy La Motta Sunday, December 3 from 11 am to 4 pm at the Creative Minds Holiday Extravaganza, hosted by Old North State Food Hall, 67 JR Road in Selma (Exit 97 off I-95).

La Motta’s other books are The Adventures of Sir Crumsby Cricket and Oliver the Octopus and the Spooky Ghost. She is a member of the North Carolina Writers Network, the Triangle Association of Freelancers, and is featured as a spotlight artist in the 2023 book, Johnston County Creates: 50 Years of Creativity. Her books are available on Amazon and Kindle. 

For more information, contact Dorothy La Motta at justadotintime@yahoo.com.


  1. Dot’s story is a beautiful and charming story, with a few surprises! Think of your favorite Hallmark movie, and you’ll know this book will leave your heart feeling happy! A great and clean read for your favorite girlfriend or relative; a special Christmas gift!

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